Read The Full Report Below as published by Punch Newspaper.
On May 6, businessman and resident of Gwarimpa Housing Estate, FCT,
Abuja, Benedict Emmanuel, noticed that a stack of foreign currency he
kept in his house had disappeared.
But little did he know that his good-natured security guard,
40-year-old Alfred Andrew, a Bauchi State indigene, had suddenly become a
millionaire, while keeping his home safe.
At 40, Andrew, who studied Mass Communication and Information
Technology, went from joblessness to enrolling in an evangelical school,
through which he became a pastor.
Yet, he said he needed more out of life.
Andrew said he moved to Plateau State to look for a job until the
poor condition of the job forced him to move to Abuja where he took up a
security guard job on a N25,000 salary in 2014.
But three years down the line, Andrew thought fate had finally smiled
upon him when bundles of foreign currency fell on him while he was
rifling through his boss’ belongings one day when the latter was out of
He said, “That day, I was sweeping when I saw a key on the floor. I
tried it on the padlock on my boss’ apartment and it opened. I went
inside the house and was searching through his belongings when something
fell on me from the top of his wardrobe.
“I then realised it was foreign currency. I climbed on a chair to see
what was on the top of the wardrobe and noticed that there were
currencies from different countries. They were so much. That was the
first time I would see so much dollars. I have only seen such large
amount in movies.
“I was tempted to take the money. Before, I had been hearing of
whistle-blowers but I was not sure who to contact. I didn’t know who to
report to. I didn’t have the number of the whistle-blowers (sic). I was
scared. I didn’t know who to trust in Nigeria. I might tell someone and
the person may turn things around against me.”
Andrew said he started to pick out of the bundles of currencies gradually whenever his boss was out of the house.
Then, he took the step of counting how many wrapped bundles of currency were on the wardrobe.
“I confirmed from someone the amount in the bundles. He said it was
N130m after it was converted. I didn’t touch that one because it was
sealed. I was only taking from those bundles,” he said.
According to him, for over a month after he started stealing out of the currencies, his boss did not notice.
He said he noticed that each time his boss travelled out, he came back with more foreign currencies.
He said he only checked whenever his boss was away from home to see
if the money had increased or decreased. But every time he went into the
room, he was always tempted to take part of it.
“If you just pulled a small amount, by the time you count it, there might be more than thirty dollar notes,” he said.
At a point, Andrew went beyond just pulling little amounts of cash from the bundles and took a few million-naira worth.
He said, “I took some amount and converted it to N24.4m and put it in my account.
When Andrew’s boss, Emmanuel, first noticed that a huge part of his
cash was gone, he became suspicious of his security guard only when he
discovered that the latter was using an iPhone 7 cell phone even though
his salary was just N25,000.
When Andrew’s room was searched, expensive designer clothes were also found there.
He was apprehended when Emmanuel informed the Inspector-General of Police Intelligence Response Team.
At the police station, he confessed and N24 million was found in his account.
He also took the police to an apartment that he rented in town where expensive phones were recovered from his girlfriend.
Andrew said, “I bought clothes and mobile phones. I was not even able
to wear any of the clothes because I bought them recently. Part of the
money I had recently changed to naira was in my bag when I was searched.
“Last Friday when my boss discovered the cash missing, he ordered
that nobody should go out of the compound and started searching
everybody. His sister who is an official with the Department of State
Services came also and checked my phone and bags.
“They took my passport, ATM cards and everything I had before handing
me over to SARS. I told my oga I would implicate him by reporting him
to EFCC (Economic and Financial Crimes Commission). He said he had been
good to me, but I told him his wife had not given me food over the last
three years. It is part of the reasons why I did what I did.
“Even when I was employed, I was told my salary would be increased
every four months. I was told I would also be fed but that promise was
not kept. My boss said the money was not his.”
Andrew said he knew that what he did was wrong but that anytime he
asked his boss for money, he always told him he had no money even though
he knew about the foreign currencies in the house.
The police have said the suspect would be charged to court soon.